Sundance prize for Aussie short

28 January, 2015 by Don Groves

Kitty Green’s The Face of Ukraine: Casting Oksana Baiu has won the jury award for best non-fiction short at the Sundance Film Festival.

Green’s film follows girls from across divided, war-torn Ukraine as they audition to play the role of Olympic champion figure skater Oksana Baiul.

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Oksana was world champion in 1993 when she was 16 and the following year won the ladies’ single title at the Winter Olympics – the only skater to ever win gold at that event representing Ukraine.

The seven-minute short was produced by Green, Philippa Campey and Michael Latham, with cinematography by Latham.

Green directed Ukraine is not a Brothel, the feature documentary on the country’s topless feminist movement Femen, which caused a stir at its world premiere at the Venice Film Festival as it revealed the group was founded by a man, Victor Svyatski, who left the collective a year earlier.

Some 60 shorts from around the world, culled from 8,061 submissions, screened in Sundance. US writer-director Don Hertzfeldt’s World Of Tomorrow, about a little girl who is taken on a mind-bending tour of the distant future, won the short film grand jury prize.

Frankie Shaw’s SMILF, the tale of a young single mother who struggles to balance her old life of freedom with her new one as a mother, took the jury award for US fiction.

Japanese director Atsuko Hirayanagi’s Oh Lucy!, which follows a 55-year-old single office lady in Tokyo who is given a blonde wig and a new identity by her young, unconventional English instructor, was named best international fiction short. It won the same award at the 24th annual Flickerfest awards in Sydney earlier this month.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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